You and I walk past brownstones, the color of rust, the melancholic artificiality endowing us with Plathian muses, making us wish for something more than facades and magniloquent odes lacking the depth and authenticity that only despair forges in the fires of harrowing experiences using a hammer possessed by death-spirits.

You and I walk beneath amber sunsets on potholed roads where buskers cut their fingers on sad but sharp violin strings, and the music’s an ode to obscurity. The call to oblivion is so strong then, and the waspish ache within makes us rage at tyrannical gods and hate humanity like anti-Bodhisattvas. But then a numbing that even an anti-psychotic can’t provide coats our hearts like the paper leaves of Autumn cover the mossy ground, and yes, there’s beauty in not feeling anything sometimes.

You and I perceive existential angst in ways that leave us devoured by madness, but also empathetic, and it’s this dichotomy within us that makes us unique and sets us apart from the half-baked crowd. It’s a roaring silence and a darkened light, but these hackneyed oxymorons don’t really give it justice. It’s the Big Bang of the all the lines we write, a sudden jolt of the consciousness leading to streams and streams of macabre yet beautiful thoughts like black rivulets under the gentle glow of a crescent moon.

You and I know tragedy intimately like Gnostics directly communicating with their gods through mystical experiences. But, this wealth of pain has taught us, even though it severed us from the magnetic throng – ostentatiously attracted to or bitterly repulsed by one another. We’re freaks and vagabonds, misfits and pilgrims with causes augmented by throes.

You and I connect in ways that supersede the yes, no, and okay though the weight we carry differs not in intensity, but in form. We grasp the deeper semantic that forms the undercurrent of good conversation, and we let it carry us to the shores of honesty, which is why we can pause talk today and restore it three weeks from now with the same ardor, and I’d like to believe that’s something precious.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For Mia

Real Toads’

28 responses

  1. Tragic lovers write themselves in boozy bombastic pentameter – Eros seduces us into thinking our godsized lust has meaning but it’s a trick, we wake one day into humility and smaller love and the truth that kisses are for fictional selves, the really big show is between the I and Thou within .., Whatever gets us through the night, right? Enjoyed the write, sharp and pungent with lots of swoony stuff pocketed throughout. Its sounds like love in a time of cholerics.

    • Thank you so much! While this post is about a deep friendship rather than love, I really like what you said. Ultimately any relationship comes down to a selfless I and thou. A broken I and thou that tries to find completion in togetherness. Love in the time of cholera is a wonderful book about the patience that true love begets.

  2. The title “anti-Bodhisattva” is right on for describing the kind of psychosis striking we earthlings who are steeped in selfishness, self-promotion, anything glorifying the self where it is in vogue to ‘cut the negative people from your life’ as if that very action isn’t the most negative thing. We’re seduced into false perfection — Plasticity — hating true raw, hurting but beautiful humanity because of its flaws.

    • Yeah it is a cruel, terrifying world out there. Selfishness and self-promotion is playing by the rules while authenticity and honestly expressing yourself isn’t. You’re so right. The very act of cutting negative people from our lives is the most negative thing one can do. People want to fit in so badly that they’re willing to sacrifice integrity. It’s sad, but like I said, that’s the world. Thank you so much for such an insightful comment.

  3. You and I walk beneath amber sunsets on potholed roads where buskers cut their fingers on sad but sharp violin strings,

    —- the second paragraph is a “poem within a poem” –
    the words paint the images, the meanings, the layers and layering – leaving us to read, interpret and wander within the richness …

    delightfully unique is the voice that speaks within this piece – especially, for me, as noted, the second opening …

  4. The repetition of you and I really, hammers the message of both sharing a burden and (maybe) also being devoured by the attraction tot pain… I have had moments of walking through nights … talking, and being devoured by such suffering.

  5. I would suggest that if you want your poems read by more people, that you visit all posters and comment on them, even if they did not comment on yours. This way more people will become acquainted with you. While this poem is about a special friendship, I detect more than a wee bit of angst in it.

    • I do read as many posts as I can, but sometimes I’m at a loss of words. The posts are so good that I don’t know what to say and I don’t feel like leaving a shallow comment. There is a shared angst in this piece. Both people in the friendship cut through it together.

  6. the weight we carry differs not in intensity, but in form… that is a beautiful thoughts and ties up that whole sense of connection through out the poem. A great read.

  7. Gosh this is incredibly deep and philosophical! ❤️ Especially like; “our hearts like the paper leaves of Autumn cover the mossy ground, and yes, there’s beauty in not feeling anything sometimes.” Thank you for sharing this masterpiece, Nitin :)

  8. Dearest Nitin, I adore “Pensive”, thank you, a wonderful gift, and yes, it is precious. You have given a beautiful voice to connections that exist and thrive in a pensive world. I know this place well, if I close my eyes and shut out all the extraneous noise there’s an entire world where Drop D tuning is the standard and stigma is not King. The least common denominator does not control the mob or its mentality. Paper leaves of Autumn are cut from stale get well cards, and the half-baked crowd eats crow. It’s a place where feelings are so heightened that they come full circle to rub elbows with the Rx: Numbness. It’s a place where it’s okay to ricochet between mania and lethargy while penning thoughts to be read as truths. It’s a place where forged friendships don’t die in absence but rather hold their value and don’t lose their shine, thank goodness! Bring on the madness! ~ Mia

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